Yes, life goes on. I spent the past week making final plans for my mom, going back to work, trying to remember and trying to forget. It was a busy week!
I'm able to honor my mom's wishes for a simple cremation, with no services of any kind. At first I worried that this was not enough, that it was not 'right' somehow. But then I got to thinking about the woman that my mom was. She was self-conscious and private; she would have hated the idea of a visitation, or a big funeral. She hated going to them, and made it clear to both me and her sister that she never wanted anything like that for herself. It's such a small, simple thing that I can do to honor her wishes, and I'm glad to do it. It occurred to me that funerals and memorials and such are means of closure for those of us who are living. I thought of many ways I can honor my mom's memory with much more than a service or a house full of people who normally don't speak to each other.
Going back to work on Thursday was much easier than I thought it would be. I was dreading it a bit, to be honest. I happen to work with many people who knew and used to work with my mom. I just knew there would be stupid questions or well-meaning inquiries as to how I was doing that would push me to becoming a sobbing, blubbering mess. Luckily, although I teared up a couple of times, it was nothing earth-shattering. I was able to focus on work, and on the routine. I was able to actually enjoy getting back to business. Some people worried that I went back too soon, but really, it was just what I needed.
Having that time away from home each day also gave me time to remember all of the good things about my mom, and to forget, at least a little bit, the terror of last Sunday. Being at work and focused on the task at hand allowed me to stop replaying the events over and over in my head.
Now, I'm plunging in to holiday plans. I'm looking forward to the holidays this year, not dreading them because Mom won't be with us. I'm sad that she's not here of course. Thanksgiving was one of her favorite holidays, she loved all the food and getting together with people. But I know in my heart, that she's at peace now. She has at last found the peace that she could not have here on earth. Mom was tired, and in so many ways, she had given up on her health, and on living. But, she would never want me to stop day to day living, or to cancel the holidays. It would hurt her deeply to think that I was not having Thanksgiving or Christmas and taking that away from Chickenhead.
So we'll gather together, and be thankful for the time that we had Mom with us. We'll be thankful for all of the wonderful memories we have of her, and we'll be thankful that we still have each other. Life truly does go on.